Help | Actual Air Tickets F.A.Q.

By May 22, 2020 Support

Information is power and at ForwardKeys® we are committed to providing decision-makers with unique tactical information on travel trends.

Here we answer some common questions from ForwardKeys users. For more support, please feel free to contact your support analyst or at, we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Table of Contents


1. Which air tickets does the ForwardKeys dataset contain?

It contains bookings ticketed directly through those airlines that have agreements by which they provide their ticketing data to IATA (about 30% of global direct airline tickets), as well as all tickets made through GDSs (about 93% of all indirect tickets).


2. Which airlines are providing data to IATA?

The airlines providing data to IATA can be found here.


3. Is Japan domestic visible in AAT?

No, Japanese airlines do not report on domestic tickets, therefore the coverage is extremely low (about 3% vs scheduled seat capacity).


4. When is the data updated? (frequency / delay)

Frequency: The data is updated on a daily basis.

Delay: There is a 7 day lag in the data.


5. Are historic results definitive?

Not completely. Different airlines provide tickets at different paces, and may provide ticket information several weeks after the trip has taken place. However, any tickets added to the dataset after the 7 day delay are quite rare.


6. How many months in the future can we forward look?

Air tickets are technically open up to one year in the future.

Depending on the booking traditions of destinations and source markets, we recommend you to forward look at most six months into the future.

Many origin markets in Asia and the Middle East are known to prefer late bookings (average lead times are less than two months) while Western origin markets and island destinations prefer early bookings (four to six months prior to travel).


7. Why are “Total Trips” and “Arrivals in Further Destinations” different in Departures module?

Departures Module has two concepts
Departures (Total Trips) Arrivals (Selected Destinations)
Number of travellers departing for their trips The arrivals that the travellers make in each destination
For example: For example:
One ticket has three passengers flying from Spain to the UK.They make three departures from Spain. One ticket has three passengers from Spain staying in 2 nights in the UK and 3 nights in Germany during the same trip.They make three departures from Spain and make three arrivals in the UK and another three arrivals in Germany


8. What do the numbers represent in your application? What is “Overnights”?

Arrivals Module Default Overnights Module Default
Arrivals Overnights
Number of travellers arriving at the destination. Number of nights spent by the travellers at the destination.
For example: For example:
One ticket has three passengers flying from Spain to the UK.They make three arrivals in UK. One ticket has three passengers flying from Spain to the UK, staying two nights.They make six overnights in the UK (3*2).


9. Does ForwardKeys know the nationality of travellers?

ForwardKeys only knows the starting location of travellers’ itineraries, which is called “Trip Origin”. Nationality is personal information which is stored separately by travel agencies and airlines for privacy reasons.


10. What is the difference between Ticketing History and Travel History?

Booking History displays data according to the dates when the trips were ticketed.

Travel History displays data according to the dates when the trips happened:

  • Arrivals and Continuing Departures module: when travellers arrived in the destination.
  • Departures module: when travellers departed from their origin.
  • Overnights module: when travellers made overnight stays in the destination.


11. If I want to analyse booking seasonality, should I use Ticketing History?

It is recommended to use Ticketing History if you don’t need to focus on analysing a specific travel period.

If you do want to analyse booking patterns for arrivals during a specific period, for example, analysing the booking pattern for travel during the Easter holidays, it is recommended to use Ticketing Pace or Pickup to analyse the booking pattern.


12. Can I compare the values of arrivals or departures in Actual Air Tickets with the value of total scheduled flight seats in Seat Capacity?

They are not comparable, unless you set up correct parameters for queries in Actual Air Tickets dataset. Here is why:

Values of arrivals and departures in Actual Air Tickets dataset usually include travellers taking either direct or transit flights, whilst scheduled flights in Seat Capacity only take direct flights into account.


13. How does ForwardKeys define business, leisure, group, and VFR travellers?

ForwardKeys defines pax profiles according to air ticket details, including distribution channel, pax per booking, travel dates, length of stay, etc.


14. Why are there negative values for lead time categories?

A trip can be booked, cancelled, and re-booked until a traveller completes it. Lead times have to count every ticketing and cancelling actions. Negative values come from cancellation actions. Here is an example of how negative lead times can appear:

Actions: Counting in a Lead Time category
Thomas booked on Dec 1st for a trip to Paris on Dec 20th. +1 for lead time of 15 to 29 days.
On Dec 18th, he had to cancel because he could not make the trip on Dec 20th. -1 for lead time of 0 to 4 days.
But on the same day (Dec 18th), he changed his mind and booked the same trip but for Dec 30th. +1 for lead time of 5 to 14 days.
He finally made the trip on Dec 30th.


15. Why are there different figures for historical arrivals? What is Comparable Set? What is Normalisation?

Sometimes users run a query comparing 2017 vs. 2016, and then another query 2016 vs. 2015, and they find that the volume of 2016 is different in the two queries. This is because ForwardKeys has used different “Comparable Sets” for the two queries.

Switching to “Advanced” and “Standard” parameter panel view, you may see the label of “Comparable Set”.

ForwardKeys detects perimeter changes for every single query and by default “normalisation” is performed to exclude perimeter changes from the query, and the query results that are then displayed are called a “comparable set”.


16. What is “POI as a block”? Why do the arrivals in all the British cities NOT add up to the total arrivals in UK? (for DMO customers)

ForwardKeys ultimately process each airport terminal in travellers’ itinerary as independent locations, for counting passengers, qualifying their Length of Stay at each location as well as the Pax Profile.

Under this setting, if a traveller visited New York City, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles during his/her trip to U.S.A., this is counted as three arrivals in U.S.A., which is different from the immigration counting – this traveller entered U.S.A. only once, thus counted as one arrival.

When applying the “POI as block” configuration, ForwardKeys considers a country as a unique location. In the above example, the traveller will be counted as one arrival in U.S.A., his/her Length of Stay at U.S.A. is the total nights he/she spent in New Year City, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. However when the user query arrivals into each of the cities, the traveller is counted as one arrival for each city, therefore, arrivals into cities do not add to the arrivals in the country.


17. Is it possible to define that all queries exclude domestic arrivals by default?

Yes. Preferred options (such as excluding domestic arrivals) can be defined in the Profile menu, Definitions and Preferences submenu.


18. How is a weekend defined?

Weekends are defined as Friday and Saturday nights.


19. What does the “x axis” mean in the Ticketing pace analysis?

Ticketing pace analysis is displayed only after selecting an arrival period. The x axis refers to the days, weeks or months (depending on the scale defined for the initial query) still left until the start of the selected travel period.


20. Which countries are in each of the subcontinents in ForwardKeys geographical distribution?

ForwardKeys uses UNWTO’s geographical distribution as reference. The list of countries included in each subcontinent can be consulted here. 



If you have any doubts and questions,

please do not hesitate to contact your support analyst, or at: